Taro Okamoto and The Great Awakening of Japan

The Tower of the Sun (太陽の塔, Taiyō no Tō) is a building created by Japanese artist Tarō Okamoto. It was known as the symbol of Expo ’70 and currently is preserved and located in the Expo Commemoration Park in Suita, Osaka, Japan.

Originally, the tower was built for Expo ’70 and housed in the Festival Plaza building known as “Big Roof” designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. The tip of the tower projected out of the Big Roof’s ceiling due to the height of the building. After the completion of the tower projecting through the Big Roof, a Japanese science fiction writer, Sakyo Komatsu, looked at it and said he associated it with a sexual description in a Japanese novel, Season of the Sun, where a character broke through a sliding paper door The creator of the tower, Taro Okamoto, heard about it, and named the tower as the “Tower of the Sun”.

The tower’s height is 70 metres, the diameter of the basement is 20 metres, and length of arms is 25 metres. The tower has currently three faces, two faces on the front, and a face in the back. The face located at the top, whose diameter is 11 metres, represents the future. A face between two arms represents the present, and a black face on the rear of the tower is the sun of the past. Originally another face, “Sun of the Underworld” was located on the basement floor, yet currently it has been moved to an unknown location. The jagged red paintings on the front of the tower represent thunder.


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